Sweet Potato Cupcakes

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Pumpkin bread is a thing. (A delicious thing). Pumpkin muffins are most definitely a thing. Sweet potato pie and sweet potato casserole are definitely good things. But sweet potato cupcakes? Not so much. Well, we’re here to change that. These cupcakes are rich, moist, spiced bits of autumnal heaven, and they can be yours whenever you want.

 

Even in mid-August! Especially in mid-August. Without the frosting, they might be able to pass for a very sweet, hedonistic breakfast muffins. But come on – why would anyone say no to cream cheese frosting? Someone with way more willpower than us, that’s for sure. So keep the frosting and serve these cupcakes as a lovely, grown-up dessert after a late summer dinner, and everyone will be happy.

The softer, orange-fleshed variety of sweet po...

The softer, orange-fleshed variety of sweet potato, commonly referred to as a yam in the United States (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

 

Sweet Potato Cupcakes ingredients (adapted from Jocelyn Delk Adams):

  • 3/4 lbs. sweet potatoes or yams, scrubbed
  • 1 Tbsp. vegetable oil
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp. regular salt
  • 1 Tbsp. ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp. ground nutmeg
  • 1/4 tsp. ground ginger
  • 1 1/2 sticks (3/4 cups) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/4 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 4 large eggs
  • 1 tsp. pure vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup evaporated milk

 

Spiced Cream Cheese Frosting

  • 6 ounces Philadelphia cream cheese at room temperature
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 2 sticks (1 cup) unsalted butter at room temperature
  • Pinch of regular salt
  • 14 ounces (1 3/4 cups) confectioners sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

 

Instructions:

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease cups of muffin tin. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil. Place potatoes on baking sheet and rub the skin with  vegetable oil. Roast potatoes for 50 – 55 minutes – they should be tender when pierced with a fork. Set potatoes aside until cool enough to handle.
  • In the meantime, whisk flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, and ginger together in a medium bowl. Set aside.
  • Once potatoes have cooled somewhat, remove their skins with a knife and place the flesh in a stand mixer. Beat the potatoes on medium high for about a minute, then strain the mush into a medium bowl to remove pulp. Set aside.
  • Clean stand mixer for next step. Beat butter, granulated sugar, and brown sugar until light and fluffy, scraping the bowl when necessary. Add eggs one at a time and beat until blended. Add strained sweet potato mash and vanilla and beat until blended.
  • Alternate adding flour mixture and evaporated milk to sweet potato mixture, beating on lowest speed between each addition. Beat until smooth.
  • Pour into silicone muffin pan and baked for 18 – 20 minutes. A toothpick inserted into center should come out clean, possibly with a few crumbs. Set aside to cool.
  • Beat cream cheese and vanilla together until fluffy. Add butter and salt and beat until fully blended. Add confectioner’s sugar gradually, beating after each addition. Once all confectioner’s sugar is mixed in, add cinnamon and beat frosting for about one minute. Frost your cupcakes and try not to eat all of them at once.
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